Woman, 64, gets 60 months' jail for cheating 5 victims of $1.1m

SINGAPORE - A woman promised high yields to her victims for their investments in her gold business and in a diamond company, and convinced them to part with a total of $1.1 million.

Five victims were cheated by Goh Siew Buay, 64, who was sentenced to jail for 60 months on Tuesday (Oct 31). She admitted to seven of 23 charges of cheating and abetment by conspiracy to cheat involving about $575,000.

Goh made restitution of $371,000, or 34 per cent, of the total amount.

Assistant Public Prosecutor Thiagesh Sukumaran said that in August 2010, Mr Melvin Yeo Swee Heng was serving reservist duties with Mr Fock Wah Lung when Mr Fock told him that there were opportunities to invest with a diamond company.

Mr Yeo subsequently met Goh. He was told that for each investment package worth $30,000, he would stand to earn $10,000 for each subsequent month.

In November that year, Goh told Mr Yeo that there was another investment package being pushed out by the diamond company.

This package offered returns of $170,000 for every $60,000 invested. Mr Yeo decided to accept the offer and invested $120,000 into the company, which, in fact, did not exist.

APP Thiagesh said that when the promised payouts became due, Goh stalled for time.

Mr Yeo subsequently made a police report. He managed to recoup $160,000 from the investments.

Like Mr Yeo, Mr Fock was also duped into investing various sums of money in the diamond company.

He handed over $120,000 on Nov 1, 2010, to buy four investment packages purportedly being offered by the investment company.

According to the details of the scheme, he was meant to earn $40,000 a month.

About a year later, Goh informed Mr Fock of a long-term investment package by the diamond company where for every investment of $30,000, investors would stand to earn $20,000 monthly for six months.

Goh qualified the offer by saying that she would be able to repay Mr Fock after six months. Mr Fock invested around $290,000 in total.

Post-dated cheques were given to him each time as a form of guarantee. When he could not contact Goh, he made a police report. Mr Fock has managed to recoup $80,000.

In July 2011, Goh approached Mr Tan Yew Suan, who supplied goods to the minimart where she worked.

She told him about investing money in a scheme which could earn a profit of $10,000. The money would be used to buy gold, which would be resold to Indonesian customers at a higher price.

Goh said that she had invested $1 million in the company that was supplying gold to her. She added that if Mr Tan agreed to invest, she would hand over the profits she earned from the sale of gold to the Indonesians.

After Mr Tan handed over $30,000 in November 2011, Goh delayed the payment of $10,000 that Mr Tan was meant to have received. Subsequently, Goh became uncontactable and Mr Tan lodged a police report.

Goh, whose sentence was backdated to Nov 22, 2016, could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined on each charge. She had a similar conviction in 1999.